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We are Birders - We are Leica

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Far South Expeditions


2010.07.13 20:47:44

Solar Eclipse in mainland Chile, Puerto Natales, Patagonia

Last Sunday 11 July 2010 we had the incredible priviledge to witness and photograph the spectacular total solar eclipse in the skies of Puerto Natales, Chilean Patagonia. In a splendid meeting organized by our friends of HOTEL REMOTA, a great gathering of nearly 30 eclipse enthusiasts learned about this overwhelming phenomenon from world-class Chilean astronomer José Gallardo.

We really want to thank once again to Pablo Negri (Managing Director of Remota), Claudio Molina (Operations Manager) and all the staff of Remota for allowing us to enjoy of this lifetime experience with the comfort, taste and sofistication only delivered by this remarkable and unique hotel.

 

Solar Eclipse in mainland Chile, Puerto Natales, Patagonia

See more images here.


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2010.07.09 19:12:32

The mythic Tierra del Fuego always offers exciting wildlife news. Enrique Couve and Claudio F. Vidal, founding partners of our company, together with farm owner Ivo Robertson, are currently working together in the conservation of a small colony of King Penguin, which resides during most of the year at the Marassi rivermouth, located in the central portion of Useless Bay, Isla Grande of Tierra del Fuego, Chile. The colony is located approximately 120 kilometres east from the Chilean town of Porvenir and is fullly accessible through the international road towards San Sebastian, and then connecting south to the settlement of Cameron.

The Penguin King is the second largest species of the family Spheniscidae (after the Emperor Penguin) and for many people is the most charismatic and attractive species of the group. Variable numbers (10-40 individuals) of Penguin King have established at this place for at least 15 years, being the most numerous congregations during the period between November and March. During this period, the site has ramained without any environmental protection and has suffered the pressure of continuous disturbances from visitors; some people has extract individuals with commercial purposes (i.e. sale to overseas zoos). More limited groups of penguins (8-10 individuals) remain in the same zone during the whole winter, taking advantage of the excellent feeding conditions occurring in the surrounding waters. At  the moment, we do not know if the individuals of this one small colony have realized breeding attempts at this location. If this can be verified it would be the first reported breeding colony of the species in South America.

Pictures by Claudio F. Vidal, Fantastico Sur Expeditions | More images here.

Check more details on our tours to visit the 'King Penguins of Tierra del Fuego'.

 


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2010.04.30 18:08:42

Naturalist guide Roberto Donoso has just returned from another of our sucessful trips 'Pumas of Torres del Paine'. Roberto and his guests had an intense week searching for pumas in Patagonia; eventually they were rewarded by superb views of a male puma near Laguna Amarga entrance for nearly 4 hours! This incredible national park of southern Chile holds one of the most important concentrations of these magnificent and inspiring cats. Well done Roberto!

Do you want to join one of our Puma tours? Check the details...

 

Pumas of Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Pumas of Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Pumas of Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Pumas of Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Pumas of Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Pumas of Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Pumas of Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Pumas of Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

Pumas of Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia © Fantastico Sur Expeditions


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2009.12.02 23:54:54

Trip led by Enrique Couve | Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

Ornitholidays 'Birds & Wine' trip co-led by Mike Witherick

November 20, 2009 | Pelagic trip off Quintero 06:00am | Windy, heavy swell

 

Penguins | Spheniscidae

Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) 20 ind.

 

Albatrosses | Diomedeidae

Northem Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) 5 ind.

Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) 1 ind.

Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophris) 10 ind.

Buller's Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) 1 ind.

Salvin's Albatross (Thalassarche salvini) 30 ind.

 

Shearwaters & Petrels | Procellariidae

Cape Petrel (Daption capense) 10 ind.

Defilippi's Petrel (Pterodroma defilippiana) 6 ind.            

White-chinned Petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis) 30 ind.

Westland Petrel (Procellaria westlandica) 20 ind.             

Pink-footed Shearwater (Puffinus creatopus) 50 ind.

Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) 50 ind.

 

Storm-Petrels | Hydrobatidae

Wilson's Storm-Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus) 10 ind.

 

Diving-Petrels | Pelecanoididae

Peruvian Diving-Petrel (Pelecanoides garnotii) 6 ind.

 

Pelicans | Pelecanidae

Peruvian Pelican (Pelecanus thagus) 50 ind.

 

Gannets & Boobies | Sulidae

Peruvian Booby (Sula variegata) 50 ind.

 

Cormorants | Phalacrocoracidae             

Guanay Cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougainvillii) 20 ind.

             

Sandpipers & Allies | Scolopacidae             

Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) 10 ind.

 

Gulls | Laridae             

Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) 100 ind.

Brown-hooded Gull (Larus maculipennis) 10 ind.

Franklin's Gull (Larus pipixcan) 20 ind.

Elegant Tern (Sterna elegans) 10 ind.

South American Tern (Sterna hirundinacea) 100 ind.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) 20 ind.            

 

Mammals

South American Sea Lion (Otaria flavescens) 5 ind.

Risso's Dolphin (Grampus griseus) 1 ind. offshore

Bottle-nosed Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) 10 ind. inside the Bay of Quintero

 

Have a look on Enrique's pictures taken on this trip

Soon!


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2009.11.11 19:02:11

The Southern Right-Whale Dolphin is a circumpolar cetacean only found in the cold waters of the Southern Ocean, ocassionally reaching more temperate latitudes in areas affected by the cold and productive Humboldt Current, off Chile. This splendid set of pictures were taken by Enrique Couve who joined a pelagic trip off Valparaiso on Sun Nov 8 2009. Cetaceans like Sperm Whales and even Orcas are more often seen than this rare and highly oceanic dolphin. A pod of 60+ Dusky Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) were seen associated together a smaller pod  of approximately 30 individuals of Lissodelphis peronii. The feeding frenzy was produced by the presence of an anchovy swarm, apparently the main prey for these dolphins at these latitudes. © 2009 Enrique Couve, Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile.

 

Southern Right-whale Dolphin, off Valparaiso, Nov 2009 | Enrique Couve, Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

 

 Southern Right-whale Dolphin, off Valparaiso, Nov 2009 | Enrique Couve, Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

 

Southern Right-whale Dolphin, off Valparaiso, Nov 2009 | Enrique Couve, Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

 

Dusky Dolphin, off Valparaiso, Nov 2009 | Enrique Couve, Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile


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2009.11.09 14:50:37

Trip led by Enrique Couve | Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

November 5, 2009 | Pelagic trip off Valparaiso 06:45am | Windy, heavy swell

 

Grebes | Podicipedidae

Great Grebe (Podiceps major) 1 ind.

 

Albatrosses | Diomedeidae

Northem Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) 4 ind.

Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophris) 10 ind.

Salvin's Albatross (Thalassarche salvini) 5 ind.

 

Shearwaters & Petrels | Procellariidae

Antarctic Giant Petrel (Macronectes giganteus) 5 ind.

Southern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialoides) 20 ind.

Cape Petrel (Daption capense) 30 ind.             

White-chinned Petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis) 30 ind.

Westland Petrel (Procellaria westlandica) 10 ind.             

Pink-footed Shearwater (Puffinus creatopus) 50 ind.

Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) 30 ind.

 

Storm-Petrels | Hydrobatidae

Wilson's Storm-Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus) 5 ind.

 

Diving-Petrels | Pelecanoididae

Peruvian Diving-Petrel (Pelecanoides garnotii) 6 ind.

 

Pelicans | Pelecanidae

Peruvian Pelican (Pelecanus thagus) 50 ind.

 

Gannets & Boobies | Sulidae

Peruvian Booby (Sula variegata) 20 ind.

 

Cormorants | Phalacrocoracidae             

Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) 2 ind.             

Guanay Cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougainvillii) 1 ind.

             

Sandpipers & Allies | Scolopacidae             

Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) 30 ind.

 

Gulls | Laridae             

Gray Gull (Larus modestus) 2 ind.

Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) 100 ind.

Brown-hooded Gull (Larus maculipennis) 1 ind.

Franklin's Gull (Larus pipixcan) 30 ind.

South American Tern (Sterna hirundinacea) 50 ind.             

Inca Tern (Larosterna inca) 1,000 ind.

 

Mammals

South American Sea Lion (Otaria flavescens) 4 ind.

 

Have a look on Enrique's pictures taken on this trip

Soon!


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2009.10.10 00:06:35

Rodrigo Bustamante, Manager of Fantastico Sur Expeditions, had the great priviledge of visiting the Falkland Islands, as part of a kind invitation of the Falkland Island Tourist Board, between September 26 and October 5, 2009. THE FITB organized a sound familiarization trip, in which Rodrigo scouted several outlying islands of the archipelago, and evaluated the accommodations and logitics. He was thrilled by the splendid wildlife photo opportunities he had on his visit.

"I had the great privilege of visiting the Falklands Islands during the last week of September 2009, thanks to the FITB.  I read once ¨Discover Falklands Islands, a well-kept secret of the Southern Ocean" and I completely agree with this quote. The Falklands are great place for photographers - you will be amazed when you realize that is not necessary a big lens to photograph the wildlife; they literally come to you and make you feel like one of them. The accommodations, their little planes, the food and the people are simply fantastic. If you are in to photography, wildlife, birdwatching this place should be on your list. On the other hand I found the Islands an amazing place for families who want to live a real lifetime family experience, beautiful landscapes, delightful scenic flights, fun drives along the beach and throusands of penguins and other wildlife to discover". Rodrigo Bustamante, GM

 

Have a look on Rodrigo's pictures taken on this trip

Click image to open!


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2009.10.10 00:02:09

Trip led by Enrique Couve | Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

October 3, 2009 | Pelagic trip off Valparaiso 06:00-13:00

 

Penguins | Spheniscidae

Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) 15 individuals

 

Grebes | Podicipedidae

Great Grebe (Podiceps major) 8 ind.

 

Albatrosses | Diomedeidae

Northem Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) 15 ind.

Southern Royal Albatross (Diomedea epomophora) 2 ind.

Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophris) 8 ind.; immature birds only

Salvin's Albatross (Thalassarche salvini) 6 ind.

Chatham Albatross (Thalassarche eremita) 1 possible individual

 

Shearwaters & Petrels | Procellariidae

Antarctic Giant Petrel (Macronectes giganteus) 4 ind.

Southern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialoides) 50 ind.

Cape Petrel (Daption capense) 100 ind.             

Stejneger's Petrel (Pterodroma longirostris) 1 single bird

White-chinned Petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis) 25 ind.

Westland Petrel (Procellaria westlandica) 10 ind.             

Pink-footed Shearwater (Puffinus creatopus) 50 ind.

Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) 1,000 ind.

 

Storm-Petrels | Hydrobatidae

Wilson's Storm-Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus) 10 ind.

 

Diving-Petrels | Pelecanoididae

Peruvian Diving-Petrel (Pelecanoides garnotii) 20 ind.

 

Pelicans | Pelecanidae

Peruvian Pelican (Pelecanus thagus) 50 ind.

 

Gannets & Boobies | Sulidae

Peruvian Booby (Sula variegata) 30 ind.

 

Cormorants | Phalacrocoracidae             

Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) 30 ind.             

Guanay Cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougainvillii) 10 ind.

             

Sandpipers & Allies | Scolopacidae             

Red (Grey) Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius) 500 ind.

 

Skuas & Jaegers | Stercoraridae             

Chilean Skua (Stercorarius chilensis) 3 ind.             

South Polar Skua (Stercorarius antarctica) 1 ind. 

            

Gulls | Laridae             

Gray Gull (Larus modestus) 500 ind.

Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) 50 ind.

Elegant Tern (Sterna elegans) 1 ind.             

South American Tern (Sterna hirundinacea) 100 ind.             

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) 10 ind.             

Inca Tern (Larosterna inca) 1,000 ind.

 

Have a look on Enrique's pictures taken on this trip

Click image to open!


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2009.09.14 16:05:46

Roberto Donoso, naturalist guide from our company, had the rare opportunity to see and photograph the rare and endangered Andean Cat (Leopardus jacobita) in one of our trips to northern Chile, especifically at the locality of Salar de Surire, Parinacota province, northern Chile. These great images were taken while Roberto was travelling with our dear guests Amparo Altarriba and wildlife photographer Antonio Núñez Lemos on September 19, 2008. © Photos by naturalist guide Roberto Donoso, Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile & Patagonia

© Roberto Donoso, Fantastico Sur Expeditions | Salar de Surire, Parinacota Province, northern Chile | September 19 2008

See more information on the natural history and conservation of this fascinating high-altitude cat at Alianza Gato Andino (AGA).

 

Andean Cat photos, Salar de Surire, Chile | © Roberto Donoso, Fantastico Sur Expeditions

 

Andean Cat photos, Salar de Surire, Chile | © Roberto Donoso, Fantastico Sur Expeditions

 

Andean Cat photos, Salar de Surire, Chile | © Roberto Donoso, Fantastico Sur Expeditions

 

Andean Cat photos, Salar de Surire, Chile | © Roberto Donoso, Fantastico Sur Expeditions


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2009.03.02 21:35:26
The Huemul or Andean Deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus), the world's southernmost deer, is only found in the forested hillsides and glacier surroundings of the southern cone of South America, and ranges exclusively in the PatagonianAndes of Chile and Argentina. There are probably less than 1,000 individuals of this deer species in the wild and is currently considered as one of the most endangered mammal species of the whole region. This is a rather small deer with a shoulder height of up to 35 in. (90 cm) and a weight between 100-145 lb. (45-65 kg). Its distribution in Chile is quite disjunct with a few still subsisting in the Andes of Chillan; it is more abundant in Aysen region (northern Chilean Patagonia), the Patagonian Channels and in the huge Bernardo O'Higgins National Park, in Magallanes. In Chile's Torres del Paine National Park, this deer was sucessfully re-introduced after its local extinction and now small numbers can reliably be seen in the western sector of the park, especially around Lago Grey ranger station and surrounding areas. This family group, constituted by the male (stug), female and its calf was seen on the afternoon of February 24 2009 along the hillsides along the Pingo river. A group of nature-enthusiasts of International Expeditions and a Chilean family were delighted with the encounter with a rarely seen mammal. © Photos by Claudio F. Vidal, Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile.

 

Huemul, Torres del Paine, Chile © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

 

Huemul, Torres del Paine, Chile © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

 

Huemul female, Torres del Paine, Chile © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

 

Huemul calf, Torres del Paine, Chile © Fantastico Sur Expeditions

 

Huemul calf, Torres del Paine, Chile © Fantastico Sur Expeditions


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